LUCY BURDETTE: I wonder how many of you were crazy about cooking from the Moosewood cookbooks? As you can tell from my battered copies, I cut my cooking teeth on the Moosewoods. Every once in a while I remember a lovely recipe and go back to look it up--and tweak, of course.
This time I was looking for a cake/coffee cake recipe that would freeze well and serve a lot of people. We were anticipating spending a long weekend celebrating my mother-in-law's 100th birthday, and I was organizing a breakfast. I wanted to bring a few homemade items to make it special. Below is a picture of the birthday girl (seated on left) with her four daughters-in-law, me on left. (And by the way, her secret to longevity? Stay busy, eat good food, everything in moderation!)
So, to the good food...First I made granola (recipe here.) Next, poppyseeds were calling to me, as I'd bought a big bag of them at a natural foods store (and honestly, my husband was doubting that they'd get used...)
This cake is adapted from the original Moosewood Cookbook's Ukranian poppyseed cake, with less butter, more seeds, and orange instead of lemon flavoring.
1 and 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup poppyseeds
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated orange rind
1/2 orange, juice squeezed
1 cup milk
Heat the milk to almost boiling, add the poppyseeds, and let the mixture cool.
Beat the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each. Beat in the vanilla and the orange and orange zest. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Now add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with milk/seed mixture, beating lightly after each addition.
Scrape the batter into a well-oiled bundt pan. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool for ten minutes, then invert onto a plate.
When it first comes out of the pan, it doesn't look like much--all dark and speckled. But this cake is good enough to be served for dessert--add a little ice cream if you must!
Lucy's Key West food critic mysteries can be found wherever books are sold! Follow Lucy on Twitter and "like" her on Facebook.